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Valpo dental office's patient data potentially compromised after phishing attack
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Valpo dental office's patient data potentially compromised after phishing attack

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Patients of Professional Dental Alliance of Indiana’s Valparaiso office may have had their data compromised after its administration and technology support services provider was hacked.

Pittsburgh-based North American Dental Management suffered an email phishing and credential harvesting attack on March 31 and April 1. The contractor discovered a breach of personal information during a forensic investigation following the hacking of its system.

It's notified federal and local law enforcement about the cyber intrusion, as well as affected medical offices like the group dental practice all 503 Silhavy Road in Valparaiso.

Patient data that may have been exposed includes "name, mailing address, email address, phone number, dental information, insurance information, Social Security number, and financial account numbers." No evidence of malicious use of the personal data that was exposed has yet turned up.

North American Dental Management and Professional Dental Alliance have tightened security for email and their computer systems. They are offering those affected by the breach two-year memberships to Experian’s IdentityWorks. The product aims to guard against identity theft by providing fraud alerts, credit reports, credit monitoring and identity theft insurance of up to $1 million.

Professional Dental Alliance will soon post information about the incident and how to protect from identity theft on its website. It's encouraging patients to visit the FTC identify theft website, IdentityTheft.gov, which covers available resources and how to file identity theft complaints if one's identity was stolen.

The dental office service provider is sending written notice of the data security breach to affected patients and will alert any additional people whose information is compromised.

Anyone affected can call the major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert or security freeze.

Affected patients can call Experian at 1-888-397-3742, Equifax at 1-800-525-6285 or TransUnion at 1-800-680-7289.

For more information, call the Professional Dental Alliance Breach Hotline at (888) 397-0067. 

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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